Oswald Avery and the Origin of Molecular Biology

  title={Oswald Avery and the Origin of Molecular Biology},
  author={Nicholas Russell},
  journal={The British Journal for the History of Science},
  pages={393 - 400}
  • N. Russell
  • Published 1 December 1988
  • History
  • The British Journal for the History of Science
It is now twenty years since James Watson published his personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA and triggered the growing scholarly study of the roots of molecular biology. Watson himself was not concerned with the study of nucleic acids before he became directly involved but at least three detailed histories of the early development of molecular biology have subsequently appeared, together with books, papers and reviews from others who took part, or their partisan… 
In search of the best explanation about the nature of the gene: Avery on pneumococcal transformation.
  • Eleonora Cresto
  • Philosophy
    Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2008
Bacterial Transformation and the Origins of Epidemics in the Interwar Period: The Epidemiological Significance of Fred Griffith’s “Transforming Experiment”
It is argued that the key to understanding the significance of bacterial transformation rests not only on it initiating a cascade of events leading to molecular genetics but also on its implications for epidemiology based on the biology of host–parasite interactions.
Current Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, 1989
From ancient omens to statistical mechanics: Essays on the exact sciences presented to Asger Aaboe.


Oswald Theodore Avery and DNA
  • A. Coburn
  • History
    Perspectives in biology and medicine
  • 1969
To one who had no scientific association with Avery's work it seems appropriate to place the following information on the record. I am motivated to make this report because repeatedly I note that
Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid
The determination in 1953 of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), with its two entwined helices and paired organic bases, was a tour de force in X-ray crystallography and opened the way for a deeper understanding of perhaps the most important biological process.
The Golden Era of Immunology at the Rockefeller Institute
  • W. F. Goebel
  • Medicine
    Perspectives in biology and medicine
  • 1975
It is with a feeling of deep gratitude both to you, Professor Westphal and members of the Executive and Advisory Board of the Gesellschaft für Immunologie and the assembled immunological societies, and to those two men who had such great influence in orienting my scientific career, that I accept the Avery-Landsteiner prize for 1973.
The Professor, the Institute, and DNA
RENA J. DUBOS, The Professor, the Institute, and DNA, New York, Rockefeller University Press, 1976, 8vo, pp. vii, 238, illus., $14.50. Oswald Theodore Avery (1877-1955), nicknamed "The Professor",
The Transforming Principle: Discovering that Genes Are Made of DNA
"The most interesting and portentous biological experiment of the 20th century authoritatively described by one of the three principal executants." Sir Peter Medawar "The education of the
Towards a History of Biology in the Twentieth Century: Directed Autobiographies as Historical Sources
  • N. Russell
  • History
    The British Journal for the History of Science
  • 1988
Students of the history of twentieth century biology are just beginning to emerge, but may find themselves uniquely disadvantaged compared with observers of the sciences from earlier centuries, or even of the physical sciences and engineering in the twentieth century, unless certain things are done rather quickly.
Oswald Theodore Avery, 1877-1955
  • R. Dubos
  • History
    Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society
  • 1956
Oswald Theodore Avery, Emeritus Member of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, died in Nashville, Tennessee, on 20 February 1955 at the age of 78. His name calls to mind a slender,
The Significance of Pneumococcal Types
In the course of the examination of sputum from cases of lobar pneumonia, observations have been made on the incidence of the chief types of pneumococci, and the antigens of certain Group IV strains appear to be closely related to that of Type II.
Studies on the chemical nature of the substance inducing transformation of pneumococcal types. Inductions of transformation by a desoxyribonucleic acid fraction isolated from pneumococcus type III
A reprint of Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty's article on the 35th anniversary of its original publication. The introduction is written by Joshua Lederberg.